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60th Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré Stage 6 Live & Photos
By Staff
Date: 6/14/2008
60th Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré Stage 6 Live & Photos

60th Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré Stage 6
Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré Stage 6 and Stage 1 of the Tour de Suisse live action as we join the races in progress...

The break is away, here climbing the Croix de Fer.

Stage 6 Morzine - La Toussuire 233 km
Welcome to our live coverage of the sixth stage of the Dauphine Libere and the Tour de Suisse. Early in the queen stage in France a group of 20 riders attacked at 48 kilometers and built up a handy lead of over two minutes as the juggernaut headed for the two cat 1 climbs. The large breakaway split on Croix de Fer... as the climbers came to the front to steal the show. We join the races in progress:

In the Tour de Suisse we have with three riders in the lead and the bunch trailing by 03'35" at 22 km from the finish.

In the Dauphine Libere they are now descending the Col de la Croix de fer. We have a break of 12 riders with about 2 to 3 minutes on the bunch with all the favorites led by Alejandro Valverde's Caisse d'Epargne squad.

The 12 riders in the break are Pierre Rolland; Vladimir Efimkin; Remi Di Grégorio; Patrice Halgand; Amael Moinard; David Moncoutié; Chechu Rubiera; Stephane Goubert; David Lopez Garcia; Jurgen Van de Walle; Juan Antonio Flecha and Chris Anker Sörensen. The gap of the 12 is 2.35 now with...

Stage 6 elevation profile courtesy of Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré

36 km to go- Between the 12 leaders and the peloton we have two chasing orange warriors namely Juan José Oroz who was part of the break and Mikel Astarloza who attacked out of the bunch on the Croix de Fer.

The three escapees at Tour de Suisse are: David Loosli (Swi - Lampre), Steve Zampieri (Swi - Cofidis) and Inigo Landaluze (Spa - Euskaltel).

Dauphiné Libéré - The finish of today's stage is on top of La Toussiere. La Toussiere was famous in the Tour of 2006. It was the stage in which Floyd Landis lost lots of minutes and the yellow jersey before his raid the day after and later testing positive for testosterone after the finish of the Tour. The stage on La Toussiere in the Tour 2006 was won by Michael Rasmussen after a long escape. But we all know what happened with Rasmussen in the Tour last year. In the front group Pierre Rolland is the best ranked rider; he is 10th at 4.24 off race leader Valverde.

Tour de Suisse:  The breakaway started some 25 minutes into today's race opener, both starting and finishing at Langnau im Emmental. Loosli, Zampieri and Landaluze opened up a maximum advantage of about seven minutes around the 40 km check. But the peloton reacted and cut down the gap to the current 02'40" with 19k to go.

The peloton is making impressive gains on the three-man breakaway in Switzerland: the gap fell to two minutes by the 18k to go check as the race hit the short but darn steep Schallenberg climb. Tour de Suisse: Loosli paces Landaluze on the climb, with Zampieri having a hard time following their pace. The Schleck brothers look nice in the saddle back in the field, and so does Damiano Cunego, the current leader of the UCI Pro Tour ranking.

Tour de Suisse: Loosli paces Landaluze on the climb, with Zampieri having a hard time following their pace. The Schleck brothers look comfortable in the saddle at the back in the field, and so does Damiano Cunego, the current leader of the UCI Pro Tour ranking. The TDS "peloton" down to some 30 guys at this point, has cut the gap to Landaluze, Loosli and Zampieri, who are 4 km from the top of the terrible Schallenberg, as the gap comes down to 01 minute 35 seconds. 17 km left in the land of Swiss cheese.


Dauphiné Libéré - It will be an exciting stage today as Valverde for sure will get attacked. Caisse D'Epargne gets some help from Grischa Niemann of Rabobank at the front of the peloton as they have Flecha in the break too. We have 14 leaders as the Orange Warriors Oroz and Astarloza bridged across to the break. The gap of the 14 is down to less than 1.50 on the bunch led by Rabobank and Caiss d'Epargne.

Tour de Suisse: Loosli the young Swissman drives the leading trio across the top of the Schallenberg. Franck Schleck attacks the peloton, and Stijn Devolder covers his move. Then Daniel Moreno of Caisse d'Epargne - stage winner at the recent Euskal Bizikleta - counterattacks. The line at Langnau is14 kilometres away for Loosli, Landaluze and Zampieri, whose lead over Daniel Moreno of Spain is falling down to a minute. The peloton is not far from him anyway.

In the Dauphine the gap is down to 1.17 - 25 km to go in France and the gap falls again to one minute.

Tour de Suisse: the group, led by an Astana man, brings Daniel Moreno back. Loosli, Landaluze and Zampieri are desperately trying to defend their minute advantage in the last dozen kilometres. The race is back to its downhill ways. Both the three escapees and their 30-something pursuers are flying on this descent. Loosli wins the last Hot Spot Sprint of the day at Oberhofen. But the advantage fell well under the minute with 9 kilometres yet to be covered.

Dauphiné Libéré - 20 km to go and the gap down to less than 1.00 The action will come on La Toussiere.

Tour de Suisse: Three Rabo-boys are driving the chase in Switzerland. Ten Damme and Tankink are doing a good job on the front. The situation is fluid, anything can happen. Freire is up there. Now the gap is 45 seconds with 8k to go.  Should the race come down to a field sprint of 30 guys or so, Oscar would have maaaaaaaaaany chances to make a new addition to his career tally.

Sörensen on the move solo

Dauphiné Libéré - Attack of Chris Anker Sörensen (CSC) in the front. The others don't or can't react. Chris Anker Sörensen rode the Giro as well but was very invisible.

Tour de Suisse: Loosli, Zampieri and Landaluze keep working well with each other, but with 4-5 Gerolsteiners helping Rabobank in the chase, and the advantage down to 36 seconds at 6 km from the finish, the breakaway looks doomed to failure.  Now it's 22 seconds with 4 km left. Loosli, Zampieri and Landaluze run the risk to be caught in the very final mile after staying away for about 120 kilometres. 3k to go now: and just nine seconds left.

In the Dauphine they are almost at La Toussiere... they are now climbing the first slopes, as the first riders dropped from the break are caught by the bunch.

Tour de Suisse: The breakaway in Switzerland is over as David Loosli, Steve Zampieri and Inigo Landaluze are chased down 2 kilometers from the finish. We're going to have a sprint with Freire, Schumacher ... and even Cunego perhaps. Zabel couldn't close the gap on the group so he won't count in today.

Here comes the sprint and .... OSCAR FREIRE WINS! Stage 1 in Switzerland

Dauphiné Libéré - The bunch with favorites is getting smaller due to the pace set by Pieter Weening (Rabobank) on the first section. Chris Sörensen still has a lead of around 1.00 on the bunch with 15 km to go. Rubiera dropped from the break, is now caught by the chase. Also Moinard and Rolland are swept up shortly after.

Tour de Suisse: The Swiss-based Spaniard took a comfortable stage victory, that put him atop the Tour de Suisse overall ranking too. Martin Elminger apparently took second ahead of a Team High Road guy who started the sprint first but couldn't be a match for the mighty man from Torrelavega. The High Road guy taking third in Switzerland was Kim Kirchen of Luxembourg.

Tour de Suisse: top 5: 1. Freire, 2. Elmiger, 3. Kirchen, 4. Van Avermaet and 5. Gilbert -

First GC leader Oscar Freire leads Switzerland's Elmiger and Loosli (the latter benefiting from several Hot Spot Sprint bonus seconds) by 04", with Kirchen in fourth at 06". It was Oscar's second ever win on Swiss soil., But it's going to be veeeery hard for him to hold on to the jersey in tomorrow's hilly stage.

Dauphiné Libéré - So recapping the situation we have Chris Anker Sörensen on the attack in front with 40 sec on Astarloza, Lopez and Remi di Gregorio and about the 1 minute on the bunch with the G.C. favorites led by Pieter Weening riding in support of  Robert Gesink. Gesink is targeting a win in today's stage.

All the favorites are grouped together: Valverde, Evans, Zubeldia, Leipheimer, Rogers, Gesink and others; we also see Sylvester Szmyd of Lampre in the group. He is one of the two Lampre guys left in the race after the Lampre squad suffered food poisoning 2 days ago. Vladimir Efimkin (Ag2r) is now also caught by the bunch.

Tour de Suisse - First after-stage comments from winner and gold-jerseyed Oscar Freire: "I knew the last climb was short so I had to hang on if I wanted not to waste a big chance today. And I did. I think tomorrow's winner will have a huge chance to clinch the overall title in this race. I'll be given other chances in days to come, but not tomorrow".

Dauphiné Libéré - The bunch with favorites is about 20/25 riders strong. Valverde has Rigoberto Uran as the lone team mate to help him. Weening is done with his job and drops off the back. It's now up to Gesink himself. Michael Rogers attacks, Rogers gets the company of Popovych and Zubeldia.

Yaroslav Popovych is now setting the pace of the group with the favorites. Evans is targeting the wheel of Valverde. We would like to see an attack from Evans but that isn't going to happen we expect.

9 km to go as Chris Sörensen has 1.30 on Astarloza, Lopez and Di Gregorio and 1.55 on the bunch with the favorites. They have to get into action soon if they want to chase down the young promising Dane.

Rigoberto Uran and Thomas Voeckler drop off the back of the favorites group, Valverde is on his own.

The 3 chasers - Mikel Astarloza, Remi di Gregorio and David Lopez - are caught by the yellow jersey group. The situation is more clear now as Chris Sörensen is the only one in front with 2:00 on the bunch. Yaroslav Popovych is still setting the pace with Michael Rogers on his wheel. It's good too see that Rogers is getting back in shape for the Tour de France after his illness.

5 km to go - Popovych his work done for Evans drops out the back. Gesink is setting the pace now. Yuri Trofimov drops off the back now too. Attack by Cadel Evans. Valverde doesn't respond. Is Evans going to beat Valverde for the overall win or has he waited too late. Evans has 100 meters. Navarro and Szmyd are back, 9 chasers again on Evans who doesn't really get much of a gap.

4 km to go - Evans has 20 seconds on the gruppo Valverde. 6 chasers left: Gesink, Valverde, Leipheimer, Zubeldia, Szmyd and a Bouygues rider. Chris Anker Sörensen still has 1.20 on Evans. The Bouygues rider is Fedrigo.

Levi Leipheimer Attacks!

Leipheimer on the attack now. Valverde and the others aren't able to respond. Leipheimer is almost bridged across to Evans...  Is Leipheimer going to win the Dauphine at last? Leipheimer bridged up to Evans, 2 chasers on Sörensen now. They have a small lead on the Valverde group.

Valverde is setting the pace in the group and is 7 sec down on the two. Valverde isn't having a bad day, as he's almost bridged up again to Leipheimer and Evans. If this is a test of Valverde's legs he's getting a passing mark.

Cadel Evans leads the chase of Leipheimer.

2 km to go - Valverde now gets the help of Szmyd as Gesink drops off the back. Leipheimer attacks again but Evans responds. The gap to  Sörensen is still 1.10 it seems that the Dane is going to win the stage.

Leipheimer has a small gap on Evans now.

Final kilometer for Sörensen; Evans is back with Leipheimer. Valverde sets the pace again and accelerates and is back with Leipheimer and Evans... it's an amazing show of force.

Pierrick Fedrigo attacks now out of the chasing group but comes too late for the stage win.

Here  comes Sörensen... 300 meters to go  200 mt to go...100 mt to go... and the winner of the Queens stage is


Vittoria Chris Sörensen!!

Leipheimer attacks again out of the Valverde group...  Pierrick Ferdigo comes in second at 1.00, Levi Leipheimer is 3rd at 1.07, Szmyd is 4th at 1.12. Group Valverde 5th, Evans 6th, Zubeldia 7th all at 1.13, Gesink 8th at 1.25

 Pierrick Ferdigo finishes second.

Here comes a group with Rogers, Dessel, Beltran, Navarro and others:
Matteo Carrara is 9th at 2.15 and Daniel Navarro 10th, Garate and Astarloza are in at about 2.30
Monfort, Pauriol, Sanchez and Casar are in at 2.47, here comes Remi di Gregorio, he was part of the former break and comes in 3.35 down on Sörensen all the time gaps are of course provisional as they could change by a few seconds on the official results.

Di Gregorio was the 20th rider to finish. Popovych is in now after his tremendous work for Evans. 

The new G.C. top 10 is:
1. Valverde, 2. Evans at 39 sec, 3. Leipheimer at 1.22, 4. Gesink 5. Zubeldia, 6. Dessel, 7. Astarloza, 8. Szmyd, . Monfort and 10th Rogers.

Tour favorite CSC's Carlos Sastre comes now in on an easy pace over 7.00 down on team mate Sörensen.

Tour de Suisse - Top 15 of the stage and G.C. in Tour de Suisse is: 1 - Freire, 2 - Elmiger, 3 - Kirchen, 4 - Van Avermaet, 5 - Gilbert, 6 - Iglinsky, 7 - Capecchi, 8 - M. Zberg, 9 - Knees, 10 - Albasini, 11 - Botcharov, 12 - Gutierrez, 13 - Florencio, 14 - Visconti, 15 - Deignan.

Official Results Top Ten Stage 6
Stage 6 Morzine - La Toussuire 233 km
1. Chris Sörensen (DAN/CSC)
2. Pierrick Fédrigo (FRA/Bouygues Télécom) à 1'02"
3. Levi Leipheimer (USA/Astana) à 1'10"

4. Sylvester Szmyd (POL/Lampre) à 1'15"
5. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/Caisse d'Epargne) à 1'15"
6. Cadel Evans (AUS/Silence-Lotto) à 1'17"
7. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/Euskaltel) à 1'17"
8. Robert Gesink (PSB/Rabobank) à 1'26"
9. Matteo Carrara (ITA/Quick Step) à 2'11"
10. Daniel Navarro (ESP/Astana) à 2'13"

General Classification After Stage 6
1. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/Caisse d'Epargne)
2. Cadel Evans (AUS/Silence-Lotto) à 39"
3. Levi Leipheimer (USA/Astana) à 1'24"
4. Robert Gesink (PSB/Rabobank) à 2'47"
5. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/Euskaltel) à 3'19"
6. Cyril Dessel (FRA/AG2R-La Mondiale) à 4'01"
7. Mikel Astarloza (ESP/Euskaltel) à 4'25"
8. Sylvester Szmyd (POL/Lampre) à 4'29"
9. Maxime Monfort (BEL/Cofidis) à 4'45"
10. Michael Rogers (AUS/High Road) à 5'33".

Thanks for joining us for our dueling tickers from the races in France and Switzerland today. Stay tuned for the official results and photos from the Dauphine. Until tomorrow have a great weekend ride... hope the weather in your neck of the woods is a perfect day to get out on the road or single track.

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